Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Mad Men Myself

   I can see this little device doing more than a few rounds across the internet, so I'd suppose that I'm getting the hang of being "on trend" for once. The opportunity to insert myself between Joan and Peggy (oh, matron!) was too good to pass up, as was the option to reference my own eyeframed look. Even the bow ties hid themselves behind my avatar's shirt collars - is there nothing that this creation can't do; no facet of fantasy or reality that it will not capture? For when you reach its limits, you will indeed have discovered its tragic flaw - it doesn't get any better than this

   Ladies, I hope you, in particular, will enjoy this - I hear the program's collection of cocktail dresses and go go boots is truly to die for

Friday, 24 July 2009

Take A Walk

   And every now and then, pull up a pew

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Outfit Digest - Variable Weather Response

   The heatwave had more than a good run earlier this month, but eventually, British Summer Time must maintain its reputation. So, it's all about varieties in suit, sportcoat and trouser weights, and a readily available umbrella, which was amusingly referred to as a "pimping stick" by an otherwise sultry Colombian girl on the bus, who had an anti-social - if droll - tendency to sing along to Spanish-language and r'n'b songs on her mobile

   Go Greens:

   Purple Rain and Anchorman Burgundy:

   New purchases include borrowed fake eyeglasses, green poly-cotton H&M sportcoat, burgundy H&M double breasted cardigan (with nods to Winston) and purple Aquascutum Ltd. by Nick Hart odd jacket, which was another lucky bargain second hand purchase. Beautifully moddish and slim cut, it should make quite a few rounds this autumn

   This has absolutely no new purchases contained within; it had been a while since I'd worn a suit, and a visiting friend from Shanghai, who wears them socially as well as formally (and also enlightened me with the history of my Aquascutum jacket), provided me with an excuse to do just that:

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pop Culture Thumbs-Down 20/07/09

   It's heavily dismaying to learn that Adam 'MCA' Yauch, Beastie Boy founder, campaigner for a free Tibet, and America's premier Buddhist Rhyme King, has been diagnosed with cancer. The band has been one of my largest musical pleasures and inspirations, particularly when I was learning music programming way back when - indeed, I'd say that they "saved" this angst-ridden teenager once upon a time, and my thoughts are with him, his family and his fellow Beasties. I hope he'll beat this

   This is only a Thumbs-Down because I'm tainting this post with a link to The Sun, but photos of Matt Smith and Karen Gillan as the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond have emerged as they film episodes of next year's Doctor Who. I'm particularly interested to learn what the sartorialists among us consider as to the new Doctor's outfit, which appears to be a compromise between the outfits of the previous two lead actors but, it must be said, rather lacks the personalisations of his previous selves, rolled hems and boots aside (yes, it does remind me of a certain designer I mention too often, but done on the cheap. And yes, it's more than a little bit 70s). I presume that the academic look, Harris Tweed included, is meant to counter the Time Lord's most youthful physiognomy yet, but they should have just run with it as was done for Doctors Five and Ten (points for the (clip-on, unfortunately) bow tie - it was about time the character started wearing them again). And as far as a professorial, 30s-inspired Doctor goes, it's truly hard to beat the creative whimsicality of Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy's ensemble; an imaginative mix-and-match combination that continues to influence me to this day. Still, a couple of tweaks here and there would make the new outfit rather memorable

   Meanwhile, JLS is currently at no.1 in the UK's pop singles chart. It doesn't even merit a link, but it's the UK lionising yet another bland boyband, so there you have it

On the Other Side of the Mirror, I See Lukas Renlund

   Lukas Renlund is one of the most interesting, and surprising, photographic talents that I've come across in some time. With his instinct for settings, layouts and posture, that isn't revelatory - it's the work that needs to be experienced to be believed, and there's a good deal of it available on his website

   Lukas is a 2008 graduate of the London College of Fashion and is currently based in Copenhagen, Denmark, creating his stylish, and somewhat abstract, images for a variety of clients and competitions. But I wouldn't wish to simply regurgitate his website

   In the manner of early Cecil Beaton and Horst P Horst, Lukas' work shows a particular affinity for surrealism, altered perspectives, trompe l'oeil and dream landscapes made bright, crystal clear reality. The imagery has a certain maximal quality due to the amount of detail contained therein despite appearing deceptively stark and minimal on first viewing, whether these be elements of the cloths, backgrounds, models or a combination thereof. As a fashion photographer, his work serves the dual purpose of soliciting a fantasy element to dressing that can often be overlooked, and bringing his craft one step closer to art by absorbing and rechanneling the creative teachings of the latter

   Lukas was on show last week at The Crate in Notting Hill as he wound up his Mirror Universe exhibition before departing for projects anew. The year may be well into its second half now, but he's still one to watch for 2009, and beyond

   And as a bonus; a full-body shot of my Apparel Arts/Junya S/S10-inspired outfit that was not taken by Lukas:

Monday, 13 July 2009

Summer Blues Two

   Another opportunity to pull together some summer sale ensembles, this time to stomp some divots at the polo in Richmond with the aid of my heavy soled derbies

   The Junya x Lacoste jacket is familiar to some, so the centrepiece this time is the new pair of linen-cotton Aquascutum trousers that are weighty enough to see me into the chillier hours of the days. And it was past time that I returned to white trousers, a step that honours my efforts to master summer outfits in a satisfactory manner

   Were I more detail minded, I'd share shots of the belt loop-free waist and side adjusters, but I'm not yet au fait with the ways of OCD. The detail I am happy to share is below; evidence that I am not-so-secretly a cravat man after all:

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The eBay Post

   Well, I guess it needed doing

   This post is not meant to discuss the state of the nation at eBay, for indeed, I think it's in excellent health at the minute. Despite judicious editing and dwindling funds, I've actually swooped in on more auctions this year than last and the one before. Or at least I think I have

   What I am appreciating is that the offerings over the past 6 months have been better than they've been for some time, starting from the extremely cheap second hand Edward Green loafers that I missed out on due to an unlucky event befalling my proxy, to the Dries Van Noten jacket posted below. For the pursuit of elegance, eBay is an effective and bounteous treasure trove, and on assessment, I'd gamble that a fifth to a quarter of my most favoured pieces have been acquired through such an opportune channel

   Which brings me to my point: a lot of people of my acquaintance do not know what they're missing, due mostly to unknowingness and fear. For them, and for any passers-by who've wondered, here's a quick "How to eBay For Clothes Safely" guide:

  1. Know your style. Like Armani trousers? Great. Know your size, know which colours you like and make sure you narrow down the options so you can navigate through a lot less womenswear while you're at it
  2. Know your size. Worried that it won't fit? eBay a tape measure and find out exactly what you're working with where your figure is concerned. If you want added entertainment, do it in a mirror. Either way, know exactly what this year's chest, shoulders, waistline and inseam are, so you know whether to drop that otherwise impeccable Mackintosh from your watchlist. If the seller isn't providing enough information, send over a list of pointed questions about the garment post haste
  3. Assess the seller's feedback. This is vastly self-evident. You are casting your money into the unknown should you choose to, and nothing helps the choice like getting an idea of a vendor's history, as well as those of his satisfied customers, just to make even more certain
  4. Don't be afraid to cast the net wider. I've had next to no problems with American sellers, who I feel have the best to offer overall where my aesthetic is concerned, not to mention in terms of rarity and uniqueness in their wares. And they're nicer communicators. I just wish that shipping could be faster overall. A recent proxy purchase I undertook for a fellow StyleForum member in New York City arrived within 5 days of my posting it, which, to be honest, is roughly the same for an eBay purchase in a different part of the UK anyway. UK-to-US airmail is ostensibly rather swift, but I think the Son of God will return to the Earth before the reverse becomes reality
  5. Fakes can be avoided. Ask pointed questions about style, material, close-up photographs, laundry tags even. If you've a collection of, or history with, particularly imitated items such as Ferragamo ties, for example, you should be familiar and astute enough to discern tell-tale signs of forgery. And if they dodge the issues, you'll definitely have your answer
  6. Be critical of second hand goods. Yes, I am a booster for them and yes, it's riskier assessing them via computer than from the luxury of actual handling in a charity shop. But that doesn't mean you can't assess them via a computer, nor should you expect the worst just because they're not in a brand or as-new condition. I do wish more sellers would accept the dry cleaning costs themselves, but generally, the quality of the product is not greatly diminished, as long as it's a good product to start with
  7. Finally, treat eBay as what it is - a tool with a wide variety of uses. You will find a lot of interesting, cool and useful things for your wardrobe, as long as you know what you're doing. And if you do, you'll also save a heck of a lot of money. And that's a thought that keeps me vaguely assured at night after indulging this addiction "just one last time"
   Happy eBaying

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Summer Blues One

   A new Dries Van Noten second hand number, season unknown. It's such a rare colour for a DB, and between the price, the cut, the versatility, the weight, and the fact that it will need relatively minor alterations, I knew that I had to go for it. I've been quite fortunate in the sales, the thrift shops and on eBay, and will post new pieces as and when a decent enough ensemble has been crafted

All together now:

And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong/After the Blues of Summer are gone

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Outfit - Persistence Will Murder Your Wallet

   I am giddily pleased to report that after a year and a half of eating correctly, brushing my teeth twice daily, thinking positive thoughts at least once an hour and becoming a monk, I now possess the Junya Watanabe x Lacoste jacket I mentioned coveting not so long ago. I'd spin its arrival as an excuse to the lack of updates last month, but truthfully, I only got it last week, and I hadn't all that much to say due to the English heatwave affecting what pass for my mental faculties

   The photographs of its debut outing were kindly taken by Winston, and subsequently, I've managed to repair my own camera, allowing me to take my own picture when I next wear or see something remotely interesting. The pushed-up sleeves, hat, "pyjama trousers" and scarf-belt are partly a tribute to the late King of Pop. Unlike its counterpart, I see no reason to dye or customise it in any way - it will prove as versatile as I wish. Like its counterpart, the jacket is an amazing piece of construction and design that's perfectly calibrated to the weather as it's as light as the polo shirts it was reconstructed from. Though I wish it was designed to better hold a puffed pocket square